Letter #85

Content warning: Panic, Anxiety, Parental trauma, Religious trauma 


Hello Friend, 


A bit niche.


Are you familiar with the Mirror of Erised from Harry Potter? For those unfamiliar, whoever viewed the mirror would see the deepest desire of their hearts. For years I solely lived to be exactly that for my parents. A reflection of all their hopes and dreams coming to fruition. However, that was all I was. 


Often I would catch myself thinking, 

What would my parents pick?”

“What would they like me to wear?”

“How would they want me to react?”


I was always last in my thoughts, and my dreams were practically non-existent. I was a well-oiled machine, mechanical and cold in my actions. Additionally, I was also very busy keeping myself so occupied I rarely allowed a thought of myself to cross my mind.


I would have probably lived my whole life that way if I hadn’t moved. A few years ago, I moved to another state where relationships were a top priority for everyone. Earlier, I had been surrounded by people whose focus was only on school, volunteer sheets, and internships. Not to say that these didn’t exist in the new state, but I was no longer being hounded as much about them.


It began as a small thought really:


“Have I ever liked a boy before?”

“I must have surely had a crush sometime before….?”

“How about a male celebrity? Let’s look some up to double-check?”


To put it short, none, nix. I had been so busy, so consumed in being molded by my parents it had slipped my mind. Anyhow, an interest in boys was always something forbidden anyway. A perfect daughter had no dreams of leaving their home. After all, didn’t I have my parents there anyway?


However, that was the cataclysmic event that completely shifted my views of self. I began to think about what I wanted. When I was an old lady and no longer had high expectations hanging like a guillotine above my head, what would I want? I’ll save you guys the full breakdown of what went down that involved me crying for several months straight. I am gay, I have always been deep down on some sort of atomic level. It only took me 20 years to even begin to listen to myself. Problem solved, right?


I could only wish it was so. That’s when the true panic began to set in because I was a LIE. AN ABSOLUTE SHAM! That mirror I had mentioned before was a total illusion! Perhaps it had always been but in that particular moment, my world had crumbled. I couldn’t eat, I could honestly hardly breathe. I couldn’t tell anyone, because, in my long ancestral line, not a single person had been gay. Can you believe it? Because I can’t. A long line of devoted Catholics who were so traditional, it hurt. I had even gone to all the Bible classes where, like an omen to my future troubles, the question, “do gay people go to heaven?” had been asked. Guess the answer, I dare you.


Again no, unfortunately, I was not destined for the pearly gates. A sin so grave that it would never be forgiven. Peter denying Jesus was somehow a lesser offense than simply being myself. Did I not love God as much as any other devotee? When I sang in my church for mass, would God face the other way? Was my sin the knowledge of self, like a forbidden fruit, that had been denied my whole life by my parents? I will not lie, I wept so hard that my eyes were always red and sore. Till one night I asked God to give me a sign of what I should do. Should I be single till death, never acting on my homosexual thoughts or happiness? That night, I dreamed.


In the dream, I was happy, I had children, and I was married. To a man. I woke up crying and gagging. However, something clicked that day. I did not want that: not the kids, and absolutely not the man. I had seen what was expected of me and despite the happiness on my face, it had all looked too perfect. PERFECT, PERFECT, AS ALWAYS. That was not me, not anymore.


Many trails and more ongoing. I can say I am happy, I’m still gay, and if I send the occasional hello to God that’s between Him and me. I can’t wait to continue living on this road that has been carved out step by step by me. I may stumble, I may still question but it is all mine.


I love you and thank you for reading.

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